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A look at the shelter reveals it as no more than a cardboard and plywood portal frame structure wrapped in an outer skin of overlapping high-density corrugated cardboard panels.Floors can be a combination of plywood and 50-millimetre corrugated cardboard sandwich panels fixed to timber beams and joists sitting on off-the-rack steel spikes driven into the ground as footings. The exterior envelope is treated with waterproofing and fire-retardant paint. Depending on local climatic conditions, the end walls of each module can be left open or in-filled with 50 millimetre corrugated cardboard panels. Tarpaulins can be thrown over the entire structure for added weatherproofing."It is really no more complicated than that," says Mr Ryan, who has had a long interest in developing an effective emergency shelter system for disaster zones. "It's a responsibility that, as an architect, I feel I have," he says. "It is about providing a reasonable living space for some poor bastard whose life has been devastated as a result of conflict or natural disaster. It does all the right things; it is cheap, it is recyclable and it works. And it's easy to assemble; two people with minimal experience could erect a four-module shelter in less than a day."
"You need to be careful that temporary shelters aren't so good that they become permanent homes once the initial emergency subsides and financing dries up . . . six months accommodation while reconstruction takes place doesn't necessarily necessitate an architectural response. It can be a problem when architects think they have the solution."
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